Newly appointed CFO Rooke wasted no time in getting to grips with his command team and in October that year took charge of a weekend course of advanced instruction based at the Priory Secondary Girls School and fire headquarters. 15 of the Island's officers in charge of stations attended for a series of lectures and demonstrations including individual fire risks, chemical fires, legislation, fire prevention, practical firemanship and mobilisation and communications. In order to foster greater relationships between the fire brigade and the risks they faced, a host of representatives of local industry were also invited to attend and share their professional expertise.
By then CFO Rooke had already taken charge of a major fire that caused substantial damage at the Birdham Hotel in Bembridge. Rooke also showed a great desire to increase awareness of fire prevention across the community and championed many initiatives, backed by regular columns in the County Press, describing safe methods of work for both professionals and DIY'ers in their endeavours. The post-war version of the Auxiliary Fire Service was subject to his equal scrutiny and he spent many hours of April 1966 observing and commenting on the mass AFS Exercise Sea Breeze that stretched the auxiliary resources between Rookley, Whale Chine and Freshwater. Later the same month two TV cameramen, Press reporters and a police car were in hot pursuit of multiple fire engines that bore down on the Cowes premises of Messrs. J. Arthur Dixon, expecting to find a huge conflagration. The followers arrived to no sign of flame or smoke but a smiling CFO Rooke explained that; I originated the call as an exercise to see how quickly units could turn out to deal with premises that have a potentially big fire risk; and with great satisfaction he added; It is exceptional! We had six jets on in about 20 minutes!
In the November he supported his Newport AFS Station Officer Hyland to stage a commando style training exercise at Gunville Brickworks. Over seventy Island AFS members, both men and women, attended and according to the County Press correspondent; grappled with the rugged course racing against the clock. They raced up sloping ladders, and had to swing across a simulated river, carrying items of equipment some of which weighed 80lb. In the end the Freshwater AFS were crowned the champions and all were congratulated by the Chief Fire Officer.